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“We finished... I think! ;-)”

Green Mountain Adventure Challenge
Ranked #2 of 11 things to do in Dover
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“We finished... I think! ;-)”
Reviewed September 18, 2013

Heading up from the Boston area, I had planned to spend three days in August completing the GMAC with my sister and two friends... we are NOT "outdoorsy" people, but wanted to try the challenge with our own nerdy puzzle-solving backgrounds giving us whatever advantage it may!

Things went pretty well on day one, then on our second day we were on the wrong trail (with another group) and took an unnecessary four-hour hike around a lake that had some rough trail sections that only your avid hiker would expect! Finally, on day three, we found the toughest 'treasure' after hiking for several hours IN THE POURING RAIN (think mud, rocky terrain, very little clues to go on!).

Guess what? NONE of this was unexpected, because we had carefully read through the GMAC guidelines and warnings, discussing the possibility of having a hard trek ahead of us, and so we did it all willingly with a smile (and maybe a few extra breaks along the way!). Being too tired to complete the last portion of the challenge, we went home feeling content with our accomplishment... and then took the three hour drive back three weeks later to finish!

All of the Inns and Lodges that we passed through had friendly employees and cozy atmospheres, as did the restaurants and local businesses. Everything was exactly as we expected... simple, homey... and we did a lot of research online before we even booked the trip!

Can't wait to return next year, hoping the challenges are once again a good mix of brains and brawn! :-)

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Jenelle1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
222 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
“Fun experience”
Reviewed September 15, 2013

I am pleased I got to do this-very unique experience. However, as it evolves and continues to grow-I hope the organizers will put in a couple of levels so people with kids can participate or have extremely difficulty and less. Hats off to this town for coming up with a unique way to drive tourists into this area off season. The challenge was fun-and generally people participating are friendly. It was not easy-the clues were vague and difficult but we approached to have fun and fun we had. I am not sure I would do it again-but glad I did it. Take care to note your surroundings-you could get lost and as others wrote-they take no responsibility and you are on your own. It is great for a group to have a good time.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank 147Adventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford County CT
Level Contributor
142 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“A unique getaway weekend”
Reviewed September 13, 2013

We are avid hikers and geocachers, so when we saw this pop up on Living Social, we jumped on it right away. A weekend away AND a treasure hunt? Cool!
Everything takes place in the town of West Dover, VT, a town known for Mount Snow, and not much else...until now. The GMAC is a brilliantly constructed marketing plan to put West Dover and its' many amenities on the map. There are several options for places to stay, from rustic lodges to elegant inns. Dining is just as diverse, from burgers and beer to five star cuisine, all within a few miles.
The GMAC itself takes you to many of the most remote regions of West Dover, with baffling clues and trails that lead seemingly to nowhere. But along the way, you meet other adventurers and local people who are willing to give you a hint or at least try to point you in the right direction. At the end of our GMAC adventure we were hot, tired, dirty and sore...and as we drove home we both agreed that we can't wait to sign up for next year's challenge.

A couple of things that would have me rating the GMAC as "Excellent" instead of "Very good":

1. As another reviewer mentioned, there are no checkpoints and there is no protocol for adventurers who may experience an emergency. Weather systems move fast in the valley, making the current radar images deceiving. As a result, we got stuck a few miles out on a trail in a violent thunderstorm with lightning strikes just feet away from us. In the future, perhaps the organizers can use a smartphone app such as "Share My GPS" so that adventurers can communicate their exact location if they run into an emergency situation.
2. The most frustrating part of the challenge was the amount of time we spent in the car. Not only was it a bummer to be stuck in the car (usually going in the wrong direction), but we used a lot of gas. That's not very "green" for the Green Mountains.
3. We were provided with water bottles and we made good use of them, but for the amount of hours spent on certain legs of the challenge, I would suggest having water purification tablets handy to make sure challengers can rehydrate out on the trail, or at least strongly suggest that adventurers have them in their gear. A water bottle with a wider top that fits ice cubes would be great, too.
4. The hiking trails are lovely, but I would have liked to see some water sports in the challenge also, like kayaking or rafting. Maybe next year?

Overall, this was truly a unique weekend getaway that we will be talking about for a long time. And we can't wait to return to West Dover and do it again next summer. Thanks!

Visited July 2013
Thank SWCTmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
52 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Unique way to spend Labor Day”
Reviewed September 2, 2013

My husband and I had a terrific time over Labor Day weekend. The puzzles were interesting and the right level of challenging. We learned a lot about the area and saw parts of the Green Mountains that we never would have otherwise. We found the community and participating inns and restaurants to be incredibly welcoming, friendly and helpful.

We are quite active and fit and found the hikes to be challenging, but not impossible. I do agree with another reviewer that at least a moderate fitness level is probably required. We are both a little sore after the weekend of hiking.

Overall, I think this challenge is incredibly well-planned and thought out. It's a brilliant way to bring summer business to this sleepy little ski town. We have participated in other adventure races, such as the Great Urban Race, and found this to be equally well executed. We fully intend to participate next year.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank smkarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newington, Connecticut
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Awesome challenge”
Reviewed August 27, 2013

This was our first GMAC and It was a great time. We will be participating again next year for sure! The town of Dover and the folks involved with coordinating the challenge, were great!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Susan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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